coping with clutter in a small space

Coping with clutter and storage in a small living space

coping with clutter in a small space

Living in a small space brings extra challenges with storage. What is essential in winter can look like clutter in the summer and some tools and equipment might not be needed all year round. These tips and ideas are great for people living in bigger homes too.

Ask the experts

Take a picture of your cluttered space into a large department store or Ikea and ask a member of staff what they recommend. When I did the Live Lagom project with Ikea I was amazed at the product knowledge that the staff have. Grab one of the Interior Design people for some really good ideas. Specifically, if you are in Bristol Ikea and you meet Tara you will be in luck. She really helped me see my home in a different light and came up with loads of great ideas. You will not be under any obligation to shop there and you might find a solution in a second hand store instead. But it is worth talking to an interiors expert once in a while.

A place for everything…

And everything in its place. Boring but true, if you have allocated locations for all your belongings it is easier to find them, keep them safely and make sure they are kept in good condition. Space might be tight though so try squeezing in a bit of extra room with some….

Hidden storage

Have you under bed space? Can you move the bed away from the wall and put storage behind the headboard?

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Can you turn your seating into storage? There are loads of brilliant ideas on the Ikea Hackers site, including this one for a clever bench with roll out storage. It looks really easy too!

The front of this bench slides out with loads of storage. Photo from

Double functionality

What can you change from single use to dual or more?  I love my cast iron crock pot. It has a metal knob on the lid so it can go on the hob or in the oven. Mine came from a local Indian grocery shop which has a huge range. They are often called Dutch Ovens. You can even cook bread in them!

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High up shelves

Tall shelves around the top of a room are often barely noticed. I have a high shelf in my hallway for winter hats, gloves and scarves.  There is a great and very funny post by Live Simply by Annie about over the door shelving with gorgeous photos that will inspire some serious shelf envy.

Make tidying easier

Although some designers and architects design around the way a building or object is used, most of our homes were built to maximise the footprint available to build on. It is really interesting to track how you use your home. Do you always take your shoes off in the hall? Do you miss out steps when you go up the stairs? Do you favour one side of the sofa to the other? It takes a bit of mindfulness to remember to notice what you are doing but once you realise you have patterns around your belongings, you can make your home work for you better. Can you store your shoes near where you take them off? Does your side of the sofa need storage for magazines or knitting? Do you keep teaspoons near where you make tea? Working with your habits rather than against them can make tidying so much easier.

Live minimally

I did a shout out on Twitter asking for tips for living in a small space and busy mummy blogger Victoria from Lylia Rose and Healthy Vix  came straight out with this advice about clutter:

Minimalism might not be for you but most of us could halve our belongings without missing too much. You can start dealing with too much stuff by….

Getting rid of the rubbish

If you live in a small space you will not have the room to hold onto things that do not work well for you. It really helps me to think that someone else will get better use out of something. If you want to try a bit of gentle decluttering start here for tips on how to make it really easy.

Join me in some gentle decluttering

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printable decluttering calendarDisclosure – I am no longer Ikeas bitch but they did give me a budget for the Live Lagom project last year. Links to Amazon are affiliate links and I’ll get a little bit of commission if you shop through them.